It is a widely known fact that the Ontario Land Registry System has been fully automated for many years now. Electronic registrations of sales transactions and mortgages have also been in place and have resulted in much faster closings.
In June of 2013, John Gregory of SLAW (one of Ontario’s online legal magazines) reported on a recent and major amendment to Ontario’s Electronic Commerce Act. The amendment will remove the exclusion on land transactions.
Furthermore, Cassels Brock wrote that “the purpose of the bill is to facilitate the use of electronic signatures in real estate transactions by removing the exception in the Act which prohibits land transfer documents from being signed by an electronically generated signature.”
In June of 2013, OREA issued a release of the passage of the amendment, thrilled with the idea that the amendment could mean that electronic real estate agreements of purchase and sale in Ontario may become a reality sooner than later.
Electronic real estate agreements are thought by many, including OREA, to be a major step towards improving the speed, efficiency and reliability of real estate transactions.
As you know, when you are negotiating the purchase and sale of a property, everything is pretty much paper-based and back and forth exchange generally occurs through the faxing and emailing of documents. When in a situation where there are counteroffers and amendments going back and forth, transactions can become complex, as each time there is a change all parties must be available to sign off on changes.
Real estate lawyers have long enjoyed the luxury of automation which enables two solicitors to work together on a real estate transaction. In the mortgage industry, platforms like Filogix Expert have created a way for mortgage brokers to work electronically on deals with lenders. So it is exciting that the amendment may mean the same opportunity for real estate sales professionals in the future.
How do you think this will impact the negotiation process? Do you embrace the change? Do you think that these changes will cause considerable improvement to the negotiation process?
You can read more about the amendment at:
Stay tuned for mobile tools that will enable collaboration as a result of this amendment potentially in the area of realtor to realtor collaboration and also realtor to consumer collaboration.
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